Indonesian youth ready for social media

21 June 2011

JAKARTA: Social media use is set for very fast growth among a new generation of patriotic yet pluralistic Indonesian teens, TNS studies have indicated.

According to the research firm, young Indonesians are not yet heavy users of social networks, despite the fact that Indonesia is the world's second-largest Facebook market and third-largest Twitter market in terms of reach.

Although 87% of Indonesia's online population have visited social media websites, just 14% use them on a daily basis - against a global average of 46%.

This relatively low engagement is partly due to a lack of access to quick fixed-line web connections. Instead, many Indonesian users have to access the sites via the "cluttered" operating systems of older smartphones.

But TNS suggested that this will change as new low-cost Android-powered smartphones reach the market.

James Fergusson, global technology sector managing director at TNS, said: "The... increase in social networking usage represents a huge opportunity for businesses operating in Indonesia."

Data from the research firm suggest that 30% of Indonesian users would "welcome" online branded content, and that over half (60%) of the nation's current social media users already either post about brands or read brand-related content on the sites.

Separate TNS research reveals that Indonesian teens can be characterised by their simultaneous embrace of their own personal religious faith and their acceptance of other faiths.

Around 95% of the group feel that their faith is "one of the most important aspects of my life". But 58% say they have "close friends" of a different faith - compared to a regional average of 32%.

The teens are also patriotic, and say local brands Mie Sedaap and XL make the best ads.

Robert Hutchison, TNS regional youth champion, said: "The clear message to international brands is to make advertising that connects better with the Indonesian culture in order to drive better brand engagement."

Data sourced from TNS; additional content by Warc staff